Java: Yogyakarta & Borobudur

Spiritual and Spectacular

Often referred to simply as Jogja and one of the most sought-after destinations on the island of Java, Yogyakarta is becoming an increasingly sought-after destination for those who want to seek out some more of the fascinating history and culture of Indonesia.

With two impressive World-Heritage temple sites, as well as other minor, but equally impressive Candi (ancient temples), within close proximity, most visitors to Yogyakarta come in search of history. The city is also a great place to find local Javanese handicrafts, such as wooden or leather shadow puppets or cloth woven with traditional batik designs. The Saptohoedojo Art Gallery has photos of previous visitors on its walls, including the Dalai Larma and Pope John Paul II.

The main draw card for visitors to Yogykarta is the stunning UNESCO World Heritage-listed temple complex of Borobudur, the single largest Buddhist structure anywhere on earth, Borobudur is truly an awe-inspiring ancient wonder. Built in the 8th century, the temple complex is made up of six square terraces stacked one on top of the other, connected by steep staircases. The complex is decorated with over 500 Buddha statues of various types, and more than 2672 relief panels circling the various layers tell the story of Buddha, his teachings and his progress towards Nirvana. A guide is highly recommended to get the most out of your visit.

Insiders' Tips

  1. View the Smoking Giant: Mount Merapi, an active volcano, which last erupted in 2010, lies just to the north of Yogyakarta.
  2. Prambanan: The Hindu temple complex of Prambanan is built in completely different style to the Borobuddur
  3. Shop 'til you drop: come for the culture, but make sure you pack your credit card, Jalan Malioboro is a shopping nirvana - pick up anything from silk scarves to hand-made homewares.

More Information

For maps, days tours and accommodation options, visit the Java: Yogyakarta & Borobudur chapter in our online Bali brochure. Click here.

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